PR disasters, bombscares and lawsuits

Funny thing; the longer I stick around, the more ‘deja vu’ I seem to get. Am sure I’m not psychic yet a couple of media snarl-ups tell me that I’ve seen it all before. Like the Turner Broadcasting ‘bombscare’ in Boston, and as documented in ‘Public Relations Disasters’, Volkswagen caused a similar scare in London a few years back, tho via a DM campaign. Same story…we didn’t think anyone would think that… Truth is, they didn’t think it thru! There’re certainly questions over whether any kind of role was given to PR – pre-campaign – at Turner to assess any likely stakeholder fallout. But with legals opining that making charges stick against the jocular japers, maybe the whole gambit was well-researched? Time will tell, but I’d rather hear it from the marketing sponsors, Interference, who’ve already made a mea culpa.
Then there’s Aussie retail store David Jones retaliating (via legal action) against a ‘think tank’ that accuses them of sexualising images of children in their catalogues. Again in PR Disasters, I documented a similar case study involving Abercrombie & Fitch in the USA. As for the wisdom of sueing as a method of shaping public opinion…the McLibel case study is an instructive piece of work and maybe not happy reading for the Comms team at DJ’s. This is the catalogue cover under discussion…

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